Shanghai — As shops shut their doors across Europe and the US, in China the sharp drop in new coronavirus cases has encouraged consumers to venture back into malls and restaurants for the most part gingerly but occasionally in throngs.

Helping consumers return has been a loosening of quarantine and other restrictions on business and social activity. Restaurants that have satisfied authorities with plans for curbing the risk of infection are allowed to serve groups of diners and most stores have reopened, though big brands such as IKEA and Apple have restrictions on crowds...

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